From the editorial cartoonist of the Columbus Dispatch:
Meanwhile, they might one one of those torches in Miami
Given that Zika has now become endemic in one of America’s richest cities, there’s money for buying plenty of those torches [or more practical measures], but political gridlock in Washington is keep the cash locked up.
As usual, the Republicans have attached cuts to social spending and other nasty little measures to the funding bill, including new restrictions on contraceptives and corporate-friendly reductions in pesticide regulation.
The Obama administration is struggling to explain why it is pressing Congress for more money to fight the Zika virus while sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars that it already controls and could be used instead.
White House and public health officials on Friday came close to publicly demanding that the House and Senate interrupt a seven-week recess and return to Washington to give federal agencies up to $1.9 billion to counter the mosquito-borne virus.
President Barack Obama and administration officials have for months urged lawmakers to simply approve a $1.9 billion anti-Zika plan they submitted in February. House Republicans balked at its cost, and approved a $622 million measure; the Senate passed a bipartisan $1.1 billion bill.
A compromise bill that Democrats say Republicans worked out among themselves matched the Senate level of funding, but Democrats and Obama said the measure contained unrelated policy provisions. The bill would also offset the Zika dollars with cuts to other federal programs, like the House bill but unlike the Senate version.